2021: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I am thrilled to write you on the first day of 2021 with a whole new year of promise ahead of us.

Let me start by sharing the great news of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority (EDA) and their support of Norfolk businesses during the pandemic and ongoing in 2021.  The Norfolk EDA distributed $3,950,000 of Federal CARES Act funding in support of small for-profit businesses and nonprofits located in Norfolk and impacted by COVID-19:

  • $5,000 small business grant (0-5 employees) – 44 grants
  • $15,000 small business grants (6-25 employees) – 31 grants
  • $15,000 non-profit grants (0-50 employees) – 10 grants
  • $25,000 small business grants (26-50 employees) – 8 grants

Additionally, the Norfolk EDA will reinstate its Capital Access Program in January that provides loans/grants for small businesses. They will implement a recently received grant, “The Rockefeller Foundation Opportunity Collective”, for $225,000 with support efforts focused on key priorities for small Black and Latinx business. They also will implement the recently received $500,000 Federal EDA revolving loan fund to provide loans for businesses impacted by COVID-19; and continue to administer other grant programs already in place.  The Norfolk EDA has been very proactive with the business community working hand in hand to help business during this incredibly challenging economic time.

I remain focused on safety in our neighborhoods and downtown.  Recently, I met with the Downtown Norfolk Civic League to discuss their 2021 priorities and how I can support.   Elsewhere, the neighbors along Willow Wood Drive have encountered many accidents due to people simply driving way too fast over the Willow Wood Bridge even with lowered speed limits.  I met with Norfolk city transportation staff to discuss how we can address these speeding issues.  We soon will (zoom) meet with the neighbors to suggest a solution that I hope we can implement.

I am pleased that Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) recently turned over the Poplar Halls Elementary building and grounds to the city. This school is no longer in use and now the city has the opportunity to consider its future use.  There are other school properties that are unused or underutilized that NPS is considering turning over to the city.

The COVID-19 positivity rate is climbing.  Please be safe and stay well. I hope to provide an update next month on the vaccine and distribution plan once it is available to the community. Currently, the vaccine is being administered to the initial priority groups of healthcare workers and residents and staff in long-term care facilities. Mask up!

Happy New Years!


Holidays on the Wisconsin


Grady and Maverick sleeping on the job

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